It is fall here at ‘The Wheel’. I know late August is still summer in most places, but here on Lac Seul this time of year we can feel fall beginning. Cool nights are having their effect on surface temps, the weather is more changeable, and fronts move through increasingly often. Walleye follow the weather like they do all summer, but as the weather shifts to fall patterns the effect the weather has on the walleye can be more sudden and more drastic.
Take this week – early on we were catching our best fish on rock structures in regular summer patterns, we saw good volume in the 18 – 22 inch range with big ones showing up regularly. Mid-week had a temperature drop and rain – a front moved through and saw our guides sorting through a high volume of smaller walleyes at any and all depths and structure types to get to the big fish. Volume was very high for those few days but getting through to the bigger fish took persistance and some luck. The very next day with sun and steady winds we were back to finding good production for bigger fish on mid-depth sand. Fall is full of changes in the weather and in the walleye. Our guides stayed with the big fish this week by staying flexible and versatile – checking for changes and the next pattern all the time.
For the week, we caught and released 33 walleyes over 27 in., including 5 – 28s, 2 – 29s, and one 30 incher!
The hints of fall had some of our guides taking their boats piking when the weather looked right, but most of our groups remained focused on walleye. Overall piking effort was limited and production reflected that. We caught and released 5 northern over 37 inches, including 1 – 40, and 1 – 41. Buck tails and spinnerbaits were the bait of choice for most guides with spoons a close second.
A guide’s takeaway for this week – stay flexible, stay versatile, the quicker the fishing changes the more flexible you need to be.
At Silver Water Wheel Lodge.